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The staggeringly beautiful Rovinj region offers an amazing mix of historic old towns, ruins and natural beauty, and is known for its wonderful locally-sourced food, wine and truffles. 

A former island, Rovinj’s Italian-influenced old town is almost completely surrounded by shimmering topaz-blue sea, with a picturesque fishing port of narrow streets and houses packed tightly onto it. Traditions and culture are still strong here, with locals living in harmony with tourists. Go either way along the coast to find stunning pristine natural reserves and islands with awesome beaches, biking, hiking and rock climbing, or dive to a ghostly 100-year-old shipwreck. Venture inland to find a remarkable ancient bronze age hill fort, and a mysterious village rumoured to hold the buried loot of famed pirate Captain Morgan.

Outdoor activities

WIth such diverse and beautiful natural surroundings, the Rovinj region offers a huge range of outdoor activities. Just a 20 minute boat ride from Rovinj are lovely islands such as Katarina, which is great for swimming and scenery, and Crveni Otok for windsurfing, sailing and naturism. South of Rovinj is the lush and expansive Zlatni Rt Forest Park, ideal for walking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, or snorkelling and swimming at the many beaches. If you’re feeling more adventurous, dive to the shipwrecked (and probably haunted) ferry Baron Gautsch which sank near Rovinj in 1914, killing about 240 people. You can also take a boat to the gorgeous Lim Bay and Valley, a narrow estuary and protected reserve, and visit Romuald’s Cave, where the oldest traces of prehistoric man in Istria were found.

Other places to stay & visit

  • Pula

    Stay in or near to the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Pula to soak in the local history and pure authenticity of the area.

  • Central Istria

    A stunning rural escape, rich in vineyards, fine foods, agritourism and plentiful beaches.

  • Vrsar and Funtana

    These areas offer many gastronomical establishments and some fun outdoor activities to get stuck into.

  • Umag and Novigrad

    With natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage, these locations are attractive with delicious local cuisine.

  • Labin and Robac

    These medieval towns are full of history and offer an array of outdoor activities such as hiking and sea kayaking. 

  • Rovinj

    One of the most beautiful seaside towns in all of Croatia, stay here to experience charm and character.  

  • Lim bay

  • Mountain biking in Rovinj

History and Culture

The extraordinary old town of Rovinj used to be an island, but in 1763 the channel separating it from the mainland was filled in, leaving it with the wondrous feel of an island, without being so isolated. Climb the Venetian-style bell tower of the 18th century church in the centre of town for a panoramic view of striking red roofs, cobbled streets and yellow, pink and red buildings, with boats and sparkling sea beyond. The town really does have an Italian-inspired feel to it, with most locals speaking both Italian and Croatian — not surprising since it has been ruled by both Venetians and Italians in the last 500 years. Going even further back in time, the impressive ruins of hill fort Monkodonja, from around 2000 BC, are just 5km south-east of Rovinj. You can wander around ancient walls, doorways and graves and see the foundations of a palace and an acropolis. Other fascinating ruins to explore nearby include St Thomas’ Church and the medieval town of Dvigrad, both built in the 8th or 9th century. Then there is the curious village of Mrgani, where legend has it that pirate treasure is buried. The story goes that Welsh pirate Captain Henry Morgan founded the tiny town, naming it after himself, and hid the loot from various robberies there. Many people have hunted for the treasure, without success.

  • Rovinj view from above

  • Medieval town of Dvigrad

Best Beaches

Food and wine

With its distinctly Italian influence, Rovinj is home to many fantastic restaurants which make use of the widely available fresh produce and seafood, as well as the local delicacy - truffles. There are a number of nearby wineries, reachable by bike or car, with wine tasting and restaurants on site, including the award-winning Dobravac winery. You can also do olive oil tasting, or for a more unusual experience, book a truffle hunting trip with some local truffle sellers. The lively and colourful Rovinj town market is also worth a visit with its wide range of local produce such as olive oil, truffles, honey, cheese, fish and vegetables, as well as hand made souvenirs.

  • Cafes and restaurants among the old streets of Rovinj

  • The colourful market in Rovinj